Photolistings

Our goal was to have 7 children, that was our magic number. Seven. Why? I don’t know, I just imagined that to be the large family and golden number. Well, we have met the goal. Pretty, Flower, Biscuit, Blue, Boychild, Bunny, Lemon. Bam! Done and done.

Wait. No.

We have rethought the ‘ideal’ number for our family and we changed the number. Now, hear me out before you shake your head in disbelief. Pretty moved out and Flower will be gone at the end of the summer attending U of A. They’re both our daughters forever and will undoubtedly come home for the holidays, need help financially while in adulthood limbo, and get annoying calls/texts all the damn time. We’ve decided that 9 is our final number. BUT we have a set age group we’d like to stick with, 13-16. That’s a small window. It gets smaller…no emotional, physical, medical, or emotional issues. Now our window is itty bitty. Almost impossible to fit any teenaged girl into, ha!

My badass licensing worker sent me a referral for a child seeking an adoptive home (several weeks ago) and I was excited! The family talked it over and we thought we’d give it a go. However, a few days had passed and the child’s team rejected us. It stung. I understood that the team knows what’s best for their kids and I did my best to move forward. Days and days had gone by, I kept thinking to myself ‘Why weren’t we good enough?’ And other crappy thoughts. Then I did what any other person on the planet would do…I Googled and Googled abd Googled some more. I had read horror stories about poor matches via case worker referrals, failed photolisting adoptions, etc. I. Was. Scared. I felt like I had dodged a bullet. During my search, trying to make myself feel better, I stumbled onto several photolisting websites. I searched days and days reading profiles and looking at adorable faces. In my mind I would imagine how these faces would fit into my family, making up their personalities as best as I could. Dude. I know, it was getting weird. I realized the rejection still hurt and I was living in a fantasy world to somehow put a bandaid on my hurt feelings, we were rejected. I was struggling.

It was abrupt, I stopped looking. My mental health was really wonky; ‘Let it go and move on,’ I repeatedly told myself. I did. I buried my feelings and pushed forward, yeah yeah I know that’s not what anyone should do. I did it anyway to hush the murmurs of rejection in my mind. After a few weeks I had completely moved passed the crappy feelings, I was me again and the rejection was a thing of the past. Hallelujah! Then I received an email from Adopt US Kids, a huge network of children seeking adoptive homes from all over the United States. I left the email in my inbox for 2 weeks before I actually clicked the link. I was afraid of rejection and I wasn’t ready to look into adopting anyone ESPECIALLY from a photolisting, I read those horror stories a few weeks back.

Well, I clicked the link. I submitted our homestudy. Holy moly, you get WAY more info when you’re a registered user. This time I was Googling differently; the internet has a wealth of knowledge on/about everyone. It’s pretty awesome. We had over 80 matches. Yes, 80. I visited every one of those potential matches. Out of the 80 matches I narrowed it down to 4. I was objective; I didn’t allow my past experience to dictate my feelings. I inquired about those 4 and the next day I recieved rejection notice, it simply stated ‘Your family was not selected for this child.’ That’s it. Luckily, I didn’t feel defeated or emotionally wonky. Oddly enough, I felt relieved. Somewhere deep inside of me I was afraid that all 4 inquiries would come in positively and I’d be forced to choose which human was better or more worthy or the best fit. Aaagh, that would be terrible.

Photolistings have a bad reputation, not just for the failed adoptions but for the emotional rollercoaster it provides. I’m hanging on and riding it out to see what happens, I can’t give up. There are too many kids without families, too many kids who have to go to bed at night not knowing if they’re loved, too many kids not knowing what family truly means. I’ve got one person communicating with me about a prospective kid right now. Is she part of my family? Stay tuned.

Why hello!

We did the thing, we adopted our kid! Meet Blue!

In case you couldn’t tell…her and Biscuit are pretty close. In addition; Blue is the blonde and Biscuit is the brunette.

She’s been in the family for a long time but now we won’t need to get court orders to travel or anyone’s permission to cut her hair. Yay hooray hotdog!

Living that concert life.

A couple of weeks ago Biscuit and I went to Stone Temple Pilots concert in Phoenix, it was cool because it was just us. It was in a small venue and it was packed!

On Friday I let my 3 older girls go to a festival in Phoenix…solo. Flower, Biscuit, and Blue went to the Pot of Gold Festival in Chandler to see Russ and a series of other artists. Flower drove, Blue was given the task of sending me a play by play of texts during the trip, and Biscuit did whatever. The girls stayed with my cousin and drove back the next morning. I’ll tell you it was scariest, longest, overnight trip EVER. Well, for me. The girls had a wonderful time!

Countdowns!

In just 17 days the adoption will be finalized! Our entire family is excited. Blue will be ours, forever. Adoption is tragically beautiful in our case, Blue had to suffer a tremendous loss to be in this position. She has grown, processed, and achieved all of her goals like a pro, this girl is resilient. I’m grateful that she was placed with us, I simply cannot imagine my life without her in. She wants a pet lizard to commemorate the day.

46 days until Orlando with Bunny and Biscuit. ESPN, Disney World, The Summit.

49 days until Husband, Lemon, and Blue go to Disneyland and the beach.

67 days until Flower’s graduation.

In 77 days Husband, Flower and I will venture to China then off to Thailand and Flowers birthday.

I have many things to figure out in the next 70ish days. Summer school, travel plans for the kids over the summer, summer camps, fundraising, change of schools, plan our family trip to Mexico before August, cheer financial forecasting, plan Boychild’s trip because he didn’t want to go to either Disney Parks, in addition to everyday life and all the activities, I’m overwhelmed.

I’ll hunker down over the next few weeks and get it all figured out.

Coolsculpting?

Yeah, Coolsculpting. It freezes the fat cells, they die, then your body discards it naturally. There is no downtime and you can have no physical restrictions after the procedure. It’s like liposuction but better, I’ve heard. I’ve had several friends get it done and they’ve shown beautiful results. What’s the catch? Well, it is not 100% immediate. It’s said that you’ll start seeing results in 3 weeks and after the 8 week mark you’ll see the final results are evident. BUT lots of people have seen results a day or two after the procedure.

Well, I had the pleasure of meeting Summer and having Coolsculpting done here in Lake Havasu City at Innovative Health and Wellness Centeron Saturday. The office is super cute, their staff was kind, and everything was explained very thoroughly. I was outfitted with this funny bra; it looked like a face mask but for my boobs.

Oh boy, don’t I look great? Ha! Then a series of before photos were taken on the backdrop just behind me. We got all of my angles, I can’t imagine it being anything other that disappointing to anyone that sees them. With that being said, I was assured that no one would see my pictures.

I recently had emergency surgery, February 27th, so the problem area beneath my belly button was a no-go due to not being healed fully. If you look closely you can see the incision scar on my lower stomach, the side where I’m holding my phone. I decided to do my under boob area, I’ve got stubborn fat that I cannot get rid of. It just lives there now, my under boob fat roll. We’re old friends now, I call her Noreen.

The top photo is where Summer marked me, that’s where she placed the barrier (which was a sticky piece tissue-ish paper) and she placed the suction piece on top of marked area. We did one area at a time, she placed it on me and it sucked right on. It felt cold but not uncomfortable. The second picture shows the device velcro’d on me. After a few minutes it the area had gone numb and I attempted to watch a movie, I ended up distracted by my phone instead. The first area was 35 minutes and then the suction coolsculpting device was removed, the barrier paper was removed, and I was wiped down. The barrier paper was sticky and sweet smelling. Then Summer massaged the area, BOY did that feel weird! It wasn’t painful… it was a different sensation; one I’ve never felt before. That’s when she was breaking up the ice crystals, the massage was short and enjoyable. Repeat for the second area. Quick. Painless. Cool.

I left the office and proceeded with my daily life, very little discomfort was felt and I had no issues sleeping at night. This morning I woke up and the two treated areas were sensitive to touch. The two areas were a bit sore too, comparable to muscle soreness after working out. I have a follow up appointment scheduled several weeks out, I’m anxious to see the results! I hope Noreen will vanquish.

I’ll continue to update about my fat freezing journey and post some of the unflattering pictures. If it works I’ll definitely go back and have my other problem area, my lower stomach, done as soon as possible!

I’m ecstatic.

April 4th is going to be a stellar day! Blue will become a part of our family, legally. She’s been part of our family in our hearts for a long time but on paper she will have the same last names as her siblings! Our entire household is excited, Blue has been working on a speech, secretly, for the big day. Aaaah! My heart is full!

In other news…I had emergency surgery last week. That was not fun, Biscuit was terribly upset and very anxious during the entire ordeal. Don’t get me wrong, the other kids were too. Biscuit is emotional and territorial about anything regarding me, it was a tough time for her. Luckily, everything is well and things are getting back to normal.

Hair has adjusted well to our home, she will be short term. She has an ICPC in place, thats a fancy acronym for relatives in another state who which to obtain guardianship.

Pretty moved out! I’m proud of her, she’s adulting. We miss her around here, it’s much quieter. I will be seeing Pretty today, we have a date. One perk? Kimber was messy, her room was a danger zone. It’s pretty tidy now, the other girls are relieved.

Flower, oh boy. Flower has had a tough few weeks. She’s had family in the hospital who are terminal, her boss unexpectedly died & she was laid off, her family members have said hurtful things, the list goes on. She’s going to be okay, it’s just a lot for her to deal with. Her grades are great despite all of things going on around her.

Biscuit was recruited to a third cheer team, this kid is busy. Biscuit has excellent grades and is a talented artist. She has also started the low carb lifestyle, because ‘potato chips are not life.’ Biscuit will also be attending the Summit in Orlando this May, she’s earned a bid with her cheer team.

Blue is a great student, she has been tumbling, attending student council meetings, and she has started track. She’s be adopted, by US!

And then there were 10.

We recieved new placement over the weekend, a 14 year old female, we will call her Hair. This girl has the longest, thickest, hair ever. She is outgoing, an excellent student, and okay with the extreme change in her life.

At the end of the we month Pretty is moving out at the end of the month, she’s grown up! Pretty recently had a job change and it seems to be a good fit.

Biscuit is doing wonderful, she’s going to be 14 in less than 2 weeks. She is doing standard high school and online school, cheers on 2 teams, and wants to get a job.

Flower has been accepted to 2 colleges, she is interested in bio medicine/Neuro stuff. She is working and finishing high school and will graduate with 18 college credits. We are taking her to Thailand for graduation, she is elated.

Blue is doing exceptionally well, she has started tumbling and is super close to her back handspring. I’ve got great news! The recent appeal by bio mom has been dismissed and our adoption is underway! I can’t wait until she is ours forever, I can’t imagine a life without her.

Boychild celebrated his birthday, he is officially 11. He had been wanting a new dirt bike and we came through for him.

Bunny is a stellar student, a great helper, and is getting better at regulating her feelings. We are experiencing WAY less crying, thank God.

Lemon is big. She isn’t liking the change from toddler to kid. Now that she is 5 she has more responsibility.

Husband and I are doing great, I do get annoyed with him when he doesn’t take care of himself. This whole skin cancer thing has been dragging on. He had his stitches removed then the incision site reopened, ugh. And he STILL won’t stay still.

Teaching is cool, I’m happy. Staff meetings are less cool, I deal with it. I took a huge pay cut when I quit my job in Prescott… but, I’m significantly happier with my job flexibility. My kids come first.

All aboard the pity train

Clearly, I’m having an emotional week. I feel like a failure as a parent; my kids have had an emotional week too. One child accused me of not supporting them and picking favorites based on the decisions that I supported, one child is upset because I cannot afford to send them on a trip and requested that the child pay for the trip themselves, one child insists that she is unattractive AND has pink eye (I think it’s allergies but her older sibling convinced her it is, in fact, pink eye,) I wouldn’t let another child attend a party with high school senior boys, one went to bed crying because I didn’t hug them enough that day, one was wigging out about chores and how life isn’t ‘fair,’ another was upset that they weren’t allowed to stay up late. And that was just ONE day this week.

I’ll tell you what, parenting is hard. It’s sometimes emotionally exhausting. It’s painful. It’s disappointing. It’s full of ups and downs…the downs are debilitating. Teenage girls are hard. Yes, sometimes it is beautiful, funny, a learning experience, and all around lovely. But not this week. This week blows. I do not like disappointing my kids, I don’t like feeling defeated, I don’t like seeing my humans sad or hurt. I am not their friend, I am their mother. Every choice I make, I do in the best interest of my children. I constantly have to remind myself of those very words because it’s crazy, I remember being a teenager and I know how upset I’d get at my parents when they made their decisions. I know why my parents said no or treated me differently than my siblings. I do all the things that I do because I love them. I wish they would understand that. I wish they knew that I worry about each of them every-damn-day, for very different reasons, obviously, but I worry about them.

I am not the perfect parent, I make mistakes. I make bad choices. I’m not always the best role model. I’m selfish, stoic, and blunt. I am careless, irresponsible, and impulsive. I know my flaws, I am not nice! <—— definitely click that 😂!

I love my kids despite their flaws, I love them so deeply I will sacrifice anything and everything for them. I know they love me too, even if I hurt their feelings. I’m certain my babies know that I would do anything for them, within reason, and that all my choices typically have their best interest in mind… well after the initial dissapointment, punishment, or whatever ‘unfair’ decision I’ve made.

Stupid emotions. Parenting is hard.

In other news, I didn’t make the cut for the challenge. I didn’t think I would BUT a friend of mine did and i am SUPER excited for her! Yay!!